Page last updated at 16:20 GMT, Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Guinea junta names banker as PM

Captain Moussa Dadis Camara (left) talking to General Mamadou Bah Toto Camara
The army has promised to hold elections in 2010

Guinea's military rulers have named a banker as their prime minister, a week after their coup.

Kabine Komara had been an executive at the African Export-Import Bank, based in the Egyptian capital Cairo.

His appointment came as western envoys met Guinea's coup leaders and urged them to hand over power quickly.

Junta leader Captain Moussa Dadis Camara refused to say when he would step down but repeated promises to leave after free and fair elections.

On Monday, the African Union suspended Guinea because of the takeover and said it would remain excluded "until the return of constitutional order".

Mr Komara was first mooted as prime ministers two years ago, when trade unions put his name forward to then President Lansana Conte after weeks of violent protests against the government.

Capt Camara seized power last Tuesday, hours after the death of President Conte.

But many Guineans back the army's move after many years of misrule.

The African Union gave the coup leaders six months to restore constitutional rule, reports the AP news agency.

The AU decided not to apply sanctions and said it would work closely with the military rulers to try to bring Guinea back to constitutionality.

Soldiers parade in Conakry (24 Dec)
Many Guineans have welcomed the coup

The ousted government initially opposed the coup but, with sentiment on the streets favouring the takeover, soon pledged loyalty to Capt Camara. By Friday nearly all political parties and unions were on board.

The junta has so far ignored calls to relinquish power.

It promises to hold elections by the end of 2010, when Conte's term of office would have expired.

The coup was condemned internationally but Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade has urged the world community to recognise the new leadership.

At the weekend, Guinea's junta also announced it was suspending mining operations in the country pending a "renegotiation" of agreements with mining companies.

More than a third of the world's bauxite reserves are in Guinea, making it the second-largest producer internationally. It also has large reserves of gold, diamonds, iron and nickel.

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